Technology's place in patient-centered care

Critical elements of patient-centered care can benefit from technology, David Lee Scher, M.D., a digital health technology consultant writes in a recent blog post.

Physicians must provide tools to patients--such as online portals--to increase self-management, espcially since docs have less and less time to devote to direct patient care.

"The ideal portal can house different EHR system information, communicate with language translation, act as a hub for patient education, instructions, navigation, and allow providers to communicate with each other about a given patient," Scher writes. "In addition, and most importantly, it will allow the patient to change relevant information real-time."

Scher points out that interoperability, competition and government mandates will stand in the way of this technology quickly changing the way patient care is delivered.

Advanced directives for end-of-life care, critical to patient-centered care, can also benefit from technology, he says. "They must be portable, not papers in a safe bank." 

A recent piece in JAMA Surgery points of the medical community's poor palliative care performance--often shoddily coordinated, expensive end-of-life care often fails to acknowledge patient preferences. Patient-centered end-of-life care that avoids aggressive treatments patients might not want also helps reduce costs, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Urology noted in their JAMA article.

As another health policy and ethics analyst argued this week that health data digitization is here to stay, FierceHealthIT reported.

To learn more:
- read the blog post

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